Strip centers are generally defined as being under 100,000 sf.Neighborhood centers are usually in the 100,000-sf to 200,000-sfrange. "Multi-tenant sales this year have inched up, compared tothe same period in 2004, as investors are becoming more willing togive up the promise of low maintenance in exchange for higherreturns," says John M. Leonard, regional manager of Marcus &Millichap's Atlanta division.

Total dollar volume of the multi-tenant transactions has risen266% between 2001 and 2004. "Cost-conscious buyers are looking tothe northern Marietta suburb for deals," Leonard notes. "Althoughthe northern suburbs continue to garner considerable attention frominvestors, other areas are sparking interest as well," the brokersays. Among them are Clayton, southern Rockdale and Henrycounties.

"With less investor competition in the area, south metro canoffer relatively affordable properties," Leonard says. For example,the Southlake Pavilion in Morrow sold earlier this year for $28.5million or $109 per sf, while the Spivey Junction center inStockbridge traded for $13.3 million or $163 per sf.

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